Grace, love, hard truths, and Candace Cameron Bure | WORLD
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Grace, love, hard truths, and Candace Cameron Bure

Christians must stand for marriage this Christmas

Candace Cameron Bure Getty Images/Photo by Paul Archuleta

Grace, love, hard truths, and Candace Cameron Bure
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It’s hard to find a more beloved pop culture figure than Candace Cameron Bure, star of the popular ’80s sitcom Full House and current star in annual Christmas movies for The Hallmark Channel. But Bure now finds herself at the center of a media storm, not for her work on the screen, but for her real-life Christian views.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Bure shared her visions for a new venture with Hallmark’s rival Christmas network, The Great American Channel. The actress recently made the move to join her former Hallmark colleague Bill Abbott, who recruited the popular icon with the opportunity to help create programming hospitable to Christian families. Abbot, an evangelical Christian, came under fire for refusing, while at Hallmark, to air pro-LGBT commercials. The channel issued an apology and the executive left for this new venture at The Great American Channel.

Now it’s Candace Cameron Bure’s time to face the music. In the Wall Street Journal interview, when asked about the marriage issue, she said, “I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core.” This ignited a firestorm, including criticism on social media from several Hollywood actors and actresses. Bure issued a statement refusing to back down from her personal position, but reiterating her desire to show her “great love and affection for all people.”

The actress is an evangelical Christian who was led to faith by her brother, the actor Kirk Cameron. She is no stranger to controversy, having served as host on The View, where she filled the role of token conservative, the ritual punching bag for the far-left show. She later shared about the difficulty of this experience, routinely being publicly ostracized for her conservative evangelical beliefs.

Christians should applaud Bure for her courage for practicing her faith in public. Not only is she trying to create programming that upholds the beauty of the family in a media environment that routinely features the opposite, but she’s willing to say out loud what many believers are afraid to speak: that God’s design for marriage and sexuality is good and beautiful. The easiest path would have been for Candace Cameron Bure to guard her platform and avoid all risk to her reputation and career. Instead, she is choosing to demonstrate both courage and civility, truth, and grace.

The controversy Bure has faced is a sober warning that no Christian will escape this question.

The controversy she has faced is also a sober warning that no Christian will escape this question. As my friend Erick Erickson often says, “You will be made to care.” If someone as beloved and admired as Candace Cameron Bure is considered a bigot for holding beliefs on marriage that Christians have held for 2,000 years, all Christians will face some kind of backlash for their faith. This may not be in a public context, but may take place in private conversations, in confrontations in the workplace, or in the many civic associations in polite society.

Christians shouldn’t go out of their way to offend others. Like Bure, we should exhibit grace and love when communicating hard truths. Being right isn’t an excuse for being a jerk. Still, as Jesus promised, there will always be demands of the gospel that will cut against the grain of culture. In the hours before his arrest, he promised that “if they persecuted me, they will persecute you (John 15:20).”

We are not called to seek persecution and, as Peter warns us, we should always be asking if hostility we receive is due to our own relational sins (1 Peter 3:13-17). But, at the same time, we will always face a choice between our faith and the approval of the world. James warned the early church that “to be a friend of the world is to be an enemy of God (James 4:4).”

Thankfully, Candace Cameron Bure values her faith more than her fame. The opposition she now faces reveals the contours of our Christian challenge. This is not just about one Hollywood figure standing against hostility. The controversy surrounding Candace Cameron Bure is not just about her, and it’s not just about Hollywood—it’s about the shape of the challenge all Christians now face.

Daniel Darling

Daniel Darling is director of the Land Center for Cultural Engagement at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. His forthcoming book is Agents of Grace. He is also a bestselling author of several other books, including The Original Jesus, The Dignity Revolution, The Characters of Christmas, The Characters of Easter, and A Way With Words and the host of a popular weekly podcast, The Way Home. Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry from Dayspring Bible College, has studied at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and is a graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Angela have four children.

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